A while back, I attended a talk by Ustadh AbdelRahman Murphy. The room that had been booked out was intended to host both males and females with the speaker sitting in the same room. However, it quickly became apparent that there wasn’t enough space for both.
This is where it gets interesting. The sisters far out numbered the brothers (as always), so it made sense that the guys move to the smaller room next door. However, rather than asking the MALE speaker to come and join them, it seemed only fair that he remained where the majority of people were and the guys would listen through a connected speaker system. So here we have a situation where the talk is segregated with a physical wall as a partition with the speaker sat in the main hall with sisters sat and the guys in the small, cramped room listening through the microphone. The roles had completely reversed!
Quickly, the guys noticed how difficult it was to listen to a speaker they couldn’t see. So much of the talk was lost when the body language and expressions of the speaker couldn’t be seen. The room was cramped and uncomfortable. People would talk to each other during the talk as it was difficult to keep focused, and to top it all off, the microphone system kept cutting out…
When I stood up to take the photo, I described to them how ironic this situation was. Not a single brother who attended the talk was happy they were in that room. What was more interesting was that they all agreed that we shouldn’t do the same to the sisters…
To taste is to know… perhaps that is how we will get our mosques / isocs / brothers to finally listen?
Top Left: The brothers sat in the “closet”
Bottom Left: Talk by AbdelRahman Murphy in the sisters section
Top Right: The women’s section in the cupboard; Four Lions
Bottom Right: The sisters view of jumu’ah in Washington